Whether your business is big or small, getting feedback and positive reviews is an essential part of your marketing strategy. People depend on reviews to make purchase decisions, and in a world where social media amplifies every opinion, your most compelling content marketing can come from customer testimonials.
It’s good practice to seek out feedback at any stage, since it can yield important insights into what you are doing right or wrong. Reviews and testimonials are another kind of feedback – the kind that can generate even more business.
With B2C brands, getting customer reviews is as easy as providing links to social media pages where they can leave an account of their (hopefully) favourable experience or interaction with your brand.
In the B2B world, where each interaction and transaction is typically higher value, the importance of reviews is exponentially greater. And business buyers are just as reliant on reviews as the average consumer, in fact one marketing firm found that 60 per cent of software business buyers start their search by reading peer reviews.
It’s only natural that habits formed when shopping for oneself also come into play when buying on behalf of one’s business. Just like reading reviews on Amazon, often the last stage in a business buyer’s journey is a quick check of the online reviews. In the B2B world, this could translate to a search or possibly, and hopefully, a look at your case studies (more on that later).
There is simply nothing better for creating that essential quality – trust – which will tip the balance in your favour, and possibly close the deal. All the value propositions and feature lists in the world may not be enough to get someone to make a business purchase. What will push them over to the buy side is something decidedly human: a testimonial that builds that elusive quality of trust. Sometimes all it takes is a thumbs-up from a peer that they respect to influence the most discerning B2B buyer. These third-party stories provide “social proof” of your business’s excellence and can counteract any negative feedback you might receive.
How do you generate reviews?
Customers with a complaint don’t have to be convinced to write a review - they will blast your company on any social media platform they can find, with little encouragement. A positive review will likely need more coaxing, and this is especially true in the B2B world where companies generally need more extended feedback to attract future customers. B2B deals tend to be significantly larger and less frequent, so the process of acquiring a B2B testimonial or creating a case study is more time consuming. But they are worth it.